#6292 Out and about this afternoon, parasites, statistics

Ah, lovely. Back from this morning’s PT, which was just a glorified deep tissue massage, and that’s just fine by me. Afterward, I arrived home to find a package from Bahrain that needed shuttling northwards, and my check came in, so it was off to the bank for a deposit and the PO next door to launch goodies. Thanks, Oneeyed and Sedef! I’m sure the goodies will be well recieved. đŸ™‚

Since I was in the neighborhood, I stopped in at Twistyland, just to nose around, and ended up grabbing a copy of Essential Ant-Man to add to my growing collection of that set. Not too shabby, the guy gave it to me for $10, though they normally discount it to $12. Plus, he threw in some atomic fireballs, and invited me to bring my MK armies down and play. So, huzzah!

As I type this, Danny’s students are playing the first solid game at the school. I hope that they’re having a great time, and look forward to hearing a full report when he gets home.

I’ve been getting a lot of hits from around the world lately… I really like seeing where the little connections go.

US Network 374 46.98%
US Commercial 163 20.48%
United States 101 12.69%
Canada 23 2.89%
US Educational 21 2.64%
United Kingdom 17 2.14%
Netherlands 9 1.13%
France 8 1.01%
US Organization 7 0.88%
Belgium 6 0.75%
Australia 6 0.75%
Sweden 6 0.75%
Italy 5 0.63%
Germany 5 0.63%
Switzerland 4 0.50%
Norway 4 0.50%
Turkey 3 0.38%
Portugal 3 0.38%
Finland 3 0.38%
Unknown 3 0.38%
Lebanon 2 0.25%
Mexico 2 0.25%
US Military 2 0.25%
Israel 2 0.25%
Argentina 2 0.25%
Singapore 2 0.25%
Japan 2 0.25%
Russian Federation 2 0.25%
Spain 2 0.25%
Denmark 2 0.25%
Latvia 1 0.13%
Korea 1 0.13%
Venezuela 1 0.13%
Czech Republic 1 0.13%
Austria 1 0.13%

Pretty neat!

My Mageknight Conquest Ranking (based on my playing only two games in rated tourneys, one composite, one constructed.) If I got Dave or Danny to play, that could be a threat to my “Best in city” standing.

Rating-ID 57528
Universe Mageknight Conquest
Player scottobear
Rate/Rank Type Constructed
Rating 1608

Battles Won 1
Battles Lost 0
Battles Fought 1
Location Fort Lauderdale Florida United States
World Rank 1434
National Rank 1283
State/Provincial Rank 82
Municipal Rank 1
Calculated On 11/26/2003 1:01:53 AM

Rating-ID 57529
Universe Mageknight Conquest
Player scottobear
Rate/Rank Type Composite
Rating 1608

Battles Won 1
Battles Lost 0
Battles Fought 1
Location Fort Lauderdale Florida United States
World Rank 1449
National Rank 1296
State/Provincial Rank 85
Municipal Rank 1
Calculated On 11/26/2003 1:01:53 AM

Strongbad likes ketchup on his eggs, too.

Invasion of the Bodysnatchers

When Tanya Andrews returned from a recent family holiday in Costa Rica, she had no idea she had brought back a gruesome souvenir.

A month later she developed an extremely painful lump on her head.

At first, she thought she had an abscess, but then it wriggled.

At the Hospital for Tropical Diseases they recognized the problem straight away – it was the living maggot larva of a botfly.

While Tanya was enjoying her holiday a mosquito had delivered a tiny botfly egg onto the surface of her scalp.

The egg hatched into a maggot and burrowed deep inside. Incredibly, this happens to thousands of people every year.

As we travel to ever more exotic holiday destinations, we are at the mercy of a whole range of bizarre parasites just waiting to colonize us.

Strange nosebleeds

I swear it had two beady eyes on it. – Broughton Coburn

Soon after travel writer, Broughton Coburn, returned from Nepal he began to experience regular, inexplicable nosebleeds.

They continued for three weeks until an embarrassing encounter in a teashop made him realize that something was seriously wrong.

As he was being served, the waiter took one look at him and fled in horror.

Broughton chased him down the street urging him to tell him what was wrong. But the boy would only point, wordlessly, at his nose.

Broughton returned home and sat in trepidation in front of a mirror.

His patience was rewarded when a brown worm-like creature emerged from his right nostril and looked around.

“I swear it had two beady eyes on it. And it came out two or three inches, looked around and then retracted. I thought it was a dream, a vision of some sort.”

In shock, Broughton rushed off to his doctor who tried to remove the mysterious creature.

But it wasn’t going to give up its home easily.

“He had this thing pulled out eight or ten inches and I’m looking at it cross-eyed down the end of my nose, and he’s looking at it, he has a look of absolute horror on his face. And the thing came off. And there was this leech.”

Broughton had been invaded by an aquatic leech. It made its move while he was drinking from a mountain stream.

These thirsty bloodsuckers can drink three times their bodyweight at each feed and inject an anesthetic so their victim feels nothing.

Welcome visitor

But not all parasites are unwanted and uninvited.

As part of a University of Salford experiment to develop a diagnostic test for beef tapeworm, biologist Mike Leahy volunteered to grow this gruesome parasite inside his own gut.

Mike swallowed the immature tapeworm cyst with a glass of red wine and the worm subsequently grew at an astonishing four centimeters a week.

Twelve weeks later he had to call a halt to the unusual experiment because he was getting married!

After a dose of anti-worm pill Mike passed out an intact, six foot long tapeworm.

Disgusted? Well according to Dr Val Curtis, an expert on hygiene, this reaction is a natural survival mechanism.

“In the same way that you have an immune system which helps to protect you from parasites we also have a behavioral system.

“When you feel the emotion of disgust it is a driver of your behavior to make you keep away from or drop the thing that might be about to make you sick.”

And, it seems, we need all the protection we can get. Every living thing has at least one parasite and many creatures, including humans, have far more.

In fact, parasites make up the majority of species on Earth. Site Meter

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